French Revolution

By vdel
  • The Third Estate forms the National Assembly

    In order to get fair representation, the Third Estate breaks off and creates the National Assembly. Their mission is to make reforms in the name of the people. This is the beginning of a legitimate representative government.
  • Members of the National Assembly take the Tennis Court Oath

    Locked out of the meeting room, the Third Estate goes into a tennis court. There they make a pledge to make a new constitution.
  • French citizens storm the Bastille

    Afraid that the king is bringing in troops, Parisians storm the Bastille for firearms. They break in, kill the guards, and put their heads on pikes. This is one of the first signs of revolt by French citizens.
  • The Declaration of the Rights of Man is signed

    Basing it off the Declaration of Independence, the French creates the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The document assures everyone freedom and equal rights.
  • Saint Domingue starts fighting for independence

    Slaves hear about the Revolution in France and want their rights, also. The slaves overthrow their masters and gain control of the island. Losing Saint Domingue hurts the France because it is a productive sugar colony and would have brought the country a large sum of money.
  • The king and queen attempt to flee the country

    Unsure what their future holds, the royal family tries to escape to Austria. They are recognized and sent back. This act makes them even more unpopular and increases their enemies' power.
  • The Legislative Assembly begins meeting

    Along with the new constitution in 1791, a new legislative body is formed. It can make laws and decide what to do on issues like declarations of war.
  • The French government delcares war on Austria

    Other countries are afraid that the radical ideas in France will spread throughout Europe. Austria and Prussia try to convince France to put Louis XVI back as monarch, resulting in France declaring war. Soon other countries join Austria, putting France against several powerful nations.
  • French citizens attack Tuileres

    The king and queen are staying at the Tuileres, a palace. Suspicious that the nobles are negatively persuading the king, citizens arrest the king and bring him to Paris.
  • The September Massacres occur

    Rumors spread that the king's supporters are planning to sieze Paris. Citizens respond by raiding the prisons holding the supporters and kill them. These killings show how chaotic the country is and that no government can effectively control it.
  • The National Convention is formed

    The Legislative Assembly calls for an election of a new lawmaking body. Called the National Convention, the group declares France a republic.
  • Louis XIV is executed

    By 1793 the king has no power whatsoever. He is tried for treason and killed with a guillotine.
  • Robespierre gains power from becoming leader of the Committee of Public Safety

    The radical leader of the Jacobins gains support and eventually reaches a powerful position. As the head of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre is able to kill whoever he deems a threat or challenges his leadership.
  • The General Maximum law is created

    The General Maximum is a system of wage and price controls. It is supposed to solve the problems in the economy, but has little success.
  • Marie Antoinette is executed

    Mary Antoinette is the queen of France, but is despised by many because she is careless and wastes enormous amounts of money. A few months after her husband dies, she is also sent to the guillotine. Citizens see her as the cause of their economic problems so her death satisfies the country.
  • Robespierre loses power

    The National Convention turns against Robespierre and executes him. His death brings the beginning of a new phase, a more moderate one with less radical thinking.
  • A new constitution is made and approved

    In 1795 a third new constitution is created. It bans slavery and leads to the formation of the Directory. This shows how indecisive the government is and that they are unable to make a long-term system.
  • The French Directory is established

    After Robespierre's Reign of Terror, people realize there needs to be change. The National Convention makes a two house legislature and five man exectutive body called the Directory.
  • The Siege of Mantua begins

    French forces follow Napolean's orders and blockade an Austrian stronghold for several months. This and the failed rescue attempts by Austria eventually lead to to the end of the war in 1797.
  • Napolean takes control of the French government

    When the Directory loses control of the political situation and the support of the people, it is dissolved. The replacement government consists of three consuls and one of them is Napolean Bonaparte. With this position, Napolean gains a large amount of power.